“Harder Faster Better”

Photo Credit: Carlos Tapia

Discover CrossFit, an innovative program that combines fitness and nutrition to help participants be themselves – that is, a very improved version of themselves.  There are no unrealistic expectations, and everyone is responsible for both personal and communal achievements.  Yes, the stakes are high, but you’ll never be alone in the process.  Are you in?

CrossFit is a fitness program that is designed around the mastery of functional human movement and optimal physical health. It increases the average person’s ability to perform in real life situations – professional or recreational sports, first responder and military or even simply being a mom or dad – harder, faster, better and for longer periods of time than ever before. Doing CrossFit the right way will increase your strength, endurance, speed, coordination, balance and confidence.  For the average person who participates in CrossFit, there is a level of achievement, accomplishment and community

that simply isn’t available in any other part of their lives, let alone in a standard gym routine. Training is fun, challenging, exciting, and it brings a level of sport and play back into people’s daily lives.

One of the most unique and exciting things about CrossFit is that each and every person who participates, whether they are a family guy, full time mom, weekend warrior, gym rat or a competitor at the international level, does the exact same things. Everyone who participates earns the feeling of being a champion. CrossFit’s training and movement philosophy, combined with passionate, committed and sound coaching, increases people’s wellness both inside and out, enhances performance, promotes self-esteem and amps their ability to squeeze the juice out of life.

The Whole Life Challenge was inspired by the idea that having next level results in your life takes daily commitment and accountability for your actions and how these relate to what you want. Every day we fight the same battle with what we envision for ourselves and the reality of daily life, which is full of demands and routines. The Whole Life Challenge is a community game that breaks the routine and puts you and your friends in the battle between your vision and your reasons. It acknowledges that those reasons are very real, and giving them structure will enable you to achieve your goals by taking single steps each day.

To begin, participants spend over 56 days training to become more aware of the way that they are about their body and their health. With real, daily tracking of what they do and don’t do and actual physical and performance measurements, they understand how they get the results that they get (or don’t get!). It empowers the participants to create an environment of support as well as information about their local community and what it has to offer that supports healthy living. The Whole Life Challenge is a tool that brings people to an awareness that their choices have actual consequences that they may not have been noticing. It is a health and wellness community building experience like no other – people learn about themselves and learn to cause the success of the people around them as well as theirs. Like a team, people struggle and win together.

One of the most important steps to follow to succeed in the Whole Life Challenge is to identify what actions you can take right now, today, that will point you towards your vision. No one gets from here to there in a day, and taking the daily view gives people an opportunity to succeed all along the way. Like being in a river, just stepping in will carry them downstream before they even know they are moving. Another critical step is to not be alone. Interacting with the community to get support, share successes and breakdowns, contribute information and experiences, and to witness the transformations that are possible and are taking place all around you gives you far more power than you would have on your isolated island of one. Finally, doing what you said you were going to do even though you might not feel like it at the moment is the most important motivation. Everyone faces distractions and temptations that draw them away from long term fulfillment in exchange for short term gratification. This challenge gives you the tools you need: if you use them, you see what is possible if you are true to yourself and your vision. – Michael Stanwyck

Photo Credit: Carlos Tapia

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For a Healthier Pantry…

Many of my friends still think that to lose weight and be healthy they need to “diet” – and by that they mean making temporary changes in what they eat and when.  After they have reached a certain goal, they believe they can go back to the way they were eating again while somehow, magically, their weight and health remains intact.

It is my personal experience that losing weight and being healthier starts when you make lasting lifestyle changes.  These changes don’t have to mean you deprive yourself of what you love, they mean you can start loving new things that you probably didn’t know existed.  It means you’re going to make slight modifications to the things you enjoy.  It’s about consciously making better choices for yourself and your family.

Better diets start at the grocery store.  You need to think and inform yourself about modifying the way you purchase food.  This way, when you’re at the grocery store you will know which product is better for your health and spirit.

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We Can All Cook!

Some of us love and enjoy cooking, while others just like to eat and would very willingly skip the cooking part because they find absolutely no joy in it.  Sometimes they just believe they do not have the skills necessary to cook delicious and healthy meals.  Such is the case of Alison, our Executive Director.  Alison loves to eat and she actually wants to follow a healthier diet, but feels her skills in the kitchen are an obstacle to her goal.  She does not feel comfortable in the kitchen at all – not even her own kitchen.  She doesn’t even know what kitchen appliances she owns and what they do!

She came to me for help: “Madelyn…I can’t cook to save my life!  Where do I start?”  Alison is not alone.  I get this same question all the time from friends, family, and even people I meet randomly.  And what I suggest all of them do is start small.  I now love cooking, but it wasn’t always like that.  I remember there was a time when all I knew was how to make things in the microwave.  It’s all a matter of exposure to flavors, techniques and ingredients that make your life easy and delicious.

I went to Alison’s home recently and created a whole dinner party menu anyone can put together, even those of you who are kitchen challenged.   This menu is all a matter of “assembling”: mixing, layering, pureeing and tossing together ingredients which in the end all look and taste delicious.  The best part is, it’s all good for you.  If you look closely at the recipes, you will find that they require lots of assembly and very little tending over a stove.

Here was our menu:

White Sangría

Hummus

Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

Asparagus Tart

Mesclun Greens, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Apple Crisp

I hope Alison and some of you “eaters-not-cookers” find the confidence to make at least one of these recipes at home.   You don’t have to make them all for a dinner party… start small.  Pick one and start building your self-confidence.  You’ll see that in very little time you’ll slowly start enjoying cooking – or at least “assembling” – a whole lot more.  Stay positive, I am rooting for all of you.  Right, Alison?

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